Victor Fernandez and Daida Moreno steal the show in Pozo - 2014 Gran Canaria PWA World Cup - Trademark moves from Alessio Stillrich
The 2014 PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival saw competition on everyday with either the junior’s, men’s or women’s divisions taking centre stage. However, the event still boiled down to an enthralling final day to gain a result - after an epic nine hours of competition it was Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC) and Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who were able to defeat their rivals to be crowned the King and Queen of Pozo for 2014.
Men's - Single Elimination
Victor Fernandez’s training prior to the event paid dividends as the Spaniard marched to his fifth Pozo event title - making him the most successful male competitor in Pozo since Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz). Fernandez crept through the opening rounds relatively quietly, but he some became the centre of attention as he continued his assault into the semifinals and ultimately the winners’ final where he faced an on fire Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC). However, the 2010 PWA World Champion wasn’t going to let the opportunity to claim the first wave event victory of the year slide through his fingers and he produced another fantastic display - consisting of a bolt upright double forward and a one-handed backloop, before delivering an outstanding wave which really set him apart, rotating through a fully planing goiter before backing it up with a backside air and two more aggressive frontside smacks - to clinch the title by 0.3 points.
Victor Fernandez on claiming the first victory of the year:
“When we arrived at 7am this morning I think everyone was low on motivation looking at the conditions, but I said looked to my caddy and agreed that I should go out on the water. After I did a few rides and jumps I think Duncan decided to start. We started with Klaas and Kenneth and I think it was good idea to start because after that we basically didn’t stop. I was really happy with my wave riding in the final, I think this was the best I did all day. I think my best jump was in the semifinal against Brawzinho with my double forward and also one-handed, one-footed backloop. I had to push myself to the limit in every heat, but I’m just delighted to win the first event of the year.”
Ricardo Campello returned to the prestigious podium for the first time since 2011, but the Brazilian’s return to the top three was made all the more impressive due to the fact he had to compete with eleven stitches in the top of his right foot after an air chachoo gone wrong. Campello truly looked like a man on a mission with an added degree of determination since his move to his new sponsors - Patrik and Point-7. Campello was as radical as ever in the air as he threw himself into perfect double forwards and outrageous one-handed, one-footed forwards, but unfortunately couldn’t quite steal the title away from Fernandez. However, Campello still earned the highest overall score of the day versus Jaeger Stone (SSD / Severne) in the semifinals as he accumulated a hugely impressive 26.12 points in the opening four minutes.
Completing the podium for 2014 is Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), which represents the Brazilian’s best performance in Pozo to date, betting his previous best of 5th in 2010 and ’11 respectively. Browne consistently produced some of the best jumping and waveriding out of everyone and was leading his semifinal against Victor Fernandez, only to see the Spaniard snatch victory in the dying moments. However, the reigning PWA Wave World Champion quickly put aside any disappointment to storm to victory in the losers’ final and secure third place. Brawzinho landed on of the jumps of the entire contest in the battle for third as he was awarded 10.88 points for his incredible stalled double forward, which was made all the more impressive due to the fact that he was still accidentally hooked in on his way up.
Jaeger Stone made an emphatic return to the competition scene as he negotiated his was all the way from the trials to a superb fourth place. The Australian impressed the crowd and judges throughout the week with his fluid, powerful wave riding particularly standing out as he firstly defeated vice-world champion Alex Mussolini (Tabou / GA Sails) before also dispatching of France’s Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) and Pozo’s very own young gun Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / North).
Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) had to settle for joint fifth alongside Alessio Stillrich, Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC) and John Skye (RRD / RRD / MFC). Köster entered the event as most peoples favourites but lost out to an on fire Ricardo Campello in the semifinals by the narrowest of margins, in one of the heats of the day, which finished as a dead heat, but Campello took victory with the highest wave score proving vital. Alessio Stillrich will remember this event for a long time as fifth place represents best finish to date on the PWA World Tour.
Meanwhile the top ten was completed by Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails), Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins), Aleix Sanllehy (Goya Windsurfing / MFC), Omar Sanchez (Patrik / Loft Sails / Dunkerbeck Eyewear), Dario Ojeda (Tabou / GA Sails / MFC / AL360), Dany Bruch (Starboard / Challenger Sails / AL360), Antoine Martin - who claims his first top ten finish - and Moritz Mauch (Starboard / Severne / MFC), who all finish in joint ninth respectively.
Women’s - Single Elimination
Daida Moreno reclaimed her title as the Queen of Pozo for the first time since 2011 having relinquished her crown to her sister Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) in 2012. Daida looked back to her brilliant best with her repertoire of jumping and riding manoeuvres winning the adulation of the judges. In fact Daida’s array of jumping proved to be the difference between the legendary Moreno twins after finishing the winners’ final with equal wave scores. In the final Daida rotated through a superb one-handed backloop and a huge stalled forward to claim her rightful spot at the top of the prestigious podium.
Daida Moreno reclaims the Pozo title for the first time since 2011:
“It’s just really great to be back on stage at the top of the podium. I last won her in 2011 and after the last three years of battling a life threatening illness and injury it just feels absolutely magic to me to be back in first place. I was mentally 100% ready for the event, but physically I was not. Iballa is a fierce competitor who waverides unbelievably good, so it was a really tough fight. I was lucky that I was able to make a strong start to the heat with a one-handed backloop, but I saw Iballa landing a really clean backloop in the middle of the heat, so then I knew I had to focus on securing a strong wave. Thankfully I was able to do just that. The waves weren’t huge but they were good enough for competition. I’m really happy to win, but also as an event organiser - together with Iballa - I’m really happy for everyone that worked so hard on the event that they got their reward with a great event. I think everyone enjoyed the event and I’d like to thank the sponsors for their continued support with the event, which is so important to raising the international profile of Pozo Izquierdo.”
Iballa Moreno finished just behind her sister in the opening event of the year as the twins endured another epic battle. Iballa had shone on the waves throughout the week, with her fluid vertical turns andradical frontside aerials wowing everyone, but unfortunately for her this time around she couldn’t quite find the jumps required to defeat Daida on this occasion.
Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg) broke into the top three for the first time in her career as she defeated Amanda Beenen (Tabou / GA Sails) to complete the podium. The German produced more brilliant waveriding with her backside turns particularly impressing. However, Beenen will still be delighted with her performance as this is also the first time that she has been able to break into the top four.
Caterina Stenta (RRD), Justnya Sniady (Simmer / Mystic), Carmen Afonso Martin and Alice Arutkin (Fanatic / North) all share equal fifth in the first event of the year.
Pozo produced another fantastic week of competition as the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival proved to be a huge success once again with some of the most radical stunts in the world being laid down over the duration of the week. The elite of the wave sailing world will now be readying themselves for combat in Tenerife from the 4th-10th August.
Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?
The windsurfing paradise of Fuerteventura will steal the windsurfing limelight again from the 25th of July to the 2nd August as the men’s fastest sailors prepare for their third battle of the season, whilst both the men’s and women’s freestylers ready themselves for round two of freestyle. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com where you’ll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Overall Results PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Men’s
1st Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / North / MFC)
2nd Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC)
3rd Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
4th Jaeger Stone (SSD / Severne)
5th Klaas Voget (Fanatic / Simmer / MFC)
5th Alessio Stillrich (Fanatic / North)
5th John Skye (RRD / RRD / MFC)
5th Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
9th Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
9th Aleix Sanllehy (Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
9th Dario Ojeda (Tabou / GA Sails / AL360 / MFC)
9th Omar Sanchez (Patrik / Loft Sails / Dunkerbeck Eyewear)
9th Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde)
9th Moritz Mauch (Starboard / Severne / MFC)
9th Dany Bruch (Starboard / Challenger Sails / AL360)
Overall Results PWA Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival - Women’s
1st Daida Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Steffi Wahl (Patrik / Sailloft Hamburg)
4th Amanda Beenen (Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Caterina Stenta (RRD / RRD)
5th Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Mystic)
5th Carmen Afonso Martin
5th Alice Arutkin (Fanatic / North)
Photo : John Carter/PWA